Dave Perkins explains, “The more I talk to people about gun control and the Second Amendment, the more I realize that many Americans have no understanding of the history of arms control and attempts to disarm the American public committed by the Crown, part of many outrages leading to the Declaration of Independence and war. Would you put up with your government doing these things to you? It’s not just the disarmament, it’s the contempt, the criminality, the thuggish arrogance. When a colonist saw the disdain and brutality of the Crown’s thinking about them and actions toward them, he knew the war was going to come eventually. The British were brutal, repressive. Taking away guns from Americans was part and parcel of increasing their taxes and punitive measures, limiting their freedoms; it was all the SAME THING to the Crown. Read on and pass it on.
Here is an article offered as a brief history of gun control around the time of the founding and the writing of the United States Constitution, courtesy of the Future of Freedom Foundation– parentheticals throughout this article are my own comments and clarifications–
“One of the first acts of Parliament following the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England as a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was to restore the old constitution with its provision that every man may arm for self-defense. (this is the British constitution we’re talking about, prior to the Declaration of Independence by many years.)
In 1760, Britain began adopting mercantilist policies, meaning heavy government control of foreign trade, toward her American colonies. By 1768, these had produced such hardships and a reversal of the previous prosperity in the colonies that British troops had to be sent to suppress riots and collect taxes. (And the troops, discovering armed and cantankerous locals who did not want to pay the punitive taxes, had to act to reduce the colonials’ ability to fight.)
Between 1768-1777, the British policy was to disarm the American colonists by whatever means possible, from entrapment, false promises of safekeeping, banning imports, seizure, and eventually shooting persons bearing arms. (government disarming of the population almost instantly becomes tyranny, because the population does not want to give up what it correctly perceives as its right to defend itself. Government must therefore be violent and cruel to the population. To execute this policy of disarmament, they have no other choice. It is the disarmament policy itself, then, that is tyrannical, as the other events naturally flow from it.)
By 1774, the British had embargoed shipments of arms to America, and the Americans responded by arming themselves and forming independent militia companies. On the night of 18 April 1775, General Gage, Governor of Massachusetts, dispatched several hundred soldiers of the Boston garrison under the command of Major Pitcairn to seize the arms and munitions stored by the illegal colonial militias in Concord.
When Pitcairn encountered the Minutemen on the Lexington common blocking his way, he demanded that they throw down their arms and disperse. Although willing to disperse, the Minutemen were not willing to surrender their arms. The rest is history.
Three days after the British retreat from Concord, General Gage refused to allow Bostonians to leave the city without depositing their arms and ammunition with a Selectman at Faneuil Hall, to be returned at a suitable time after they came back (this was to prevent Bostonians from leaving the city to form up a militia and attack British troops). When the citizens of Boston foolishly complied, Gage seized the arms and refused to permit their owners to leave the city. (note– as soon as you lay down your arms, government promises evaporate, and government does what it actually wanted to do but would not admit.) from “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms,” July 6, 1775.
The news of Gage’s seizure of the arms of Bostonians not engaged in hostilities and rumors of British troops sailing from England to seize the arms of the colonists swept the colonies. The colonists considered these actions a violation of their (British) constitutionally guaranteed right to have and use arms for self-preservation and defense, as indeed they were. In 1777, William Knox, Under Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs, advocated for the American colonies the creation of a ruling aristocracy loyal to the Crown, the establishment of the Church of England, and an unlimited power to tax. To prevent resistance to these measures, Knox proposed (more arrogant and tyrannical behavior) disarming all the people:
“The Militia Laws should be repealed and none suffered to be re-enacted & the Arms of all the People should be taken away, & every piece of Ordnance removed into the King’s Stores, nor should any Foundry or manufacture of Arms, Gun-powder, or Warlike Stores, be ever suffered in America, nor should any Gunpowder, Lead, Arms or Ordnance be imported into it without License; they will have but little need of such things for the future, as the King’s Troops, Ships & Forts will be sufficient to protect them from danger.”
By that time, of course, the King’s ships and troops WERE the danger. Remember that the colonials were first and foremost British citizens with a British constitutional right to keep and bear arms to defend themselves. It was the British military, on orders from the British government, which sought to disarm them for years, growing ever more thuggish and tyrannical in the effort, all the while making a mockery of the constitution it had itself embraced not so long before. The first shots fired in the Revolutionary War were quite literally over a demand by British troops for colonials to surrender their arms, and the refusal of the colonials to do so. This is why there IS a second amendment in the constitution. End of story.